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Trip Report - June 14-23rd

Last edit: AppleCruncher on Wednesday, 11th July 2012 5:19 pm
Last response by AppleCruncher 30th July 5:33pm

Did a nine-night stay in late June, here’s a summary with the high lights and few minor problems we had…

Started with 3 nights in a loft at Hotel32. Beautiful room, but the services offered don’t match the price point (example - no dedicated elevator for the 32nd floor). Felt I would have been better off paying that money at Wynn or Bellagio for a smaller room – wouldn’t stay here again unless it was discounted. Moved on to 3 nights at Mirage – had a casino rate for a standard room and took a $40 upgrade to a Mirage suite. Liked the room – well worth the upgrade and we’re really liking the Mirage. We will be back here. Spent the last three nights at Bellagio. They bumped me from the Cypress suite I booked in January with no pre-notification. That ticked me off. We ended up in a pool view Bellagio suite – which is a great room but not what I was expecting. The only lakeview suite alternate I was offered was a Penthouse Suite at full ticket – thanks, but no thanks. However, the Bellagio is the Bellagio, and once we settled in, we had a great time.

We had fantastic meals at Prime Steakhouse (worth the price), Julian Serrano (this is a must stop every year for us) and Shibuya. We were pleasantly surprised with our first ever visits to Noodles at Bellagio and SkyBox at Aria. Casa di Amore is a blast – did the limo from the strip – note that wine bottles are half priced on Sunday and Monday nights. Definitely not a fancy place, but the room was full and everyone was enjoying themselves. This will be on list of places to return to. Oh, and of course, StripBurger did it again – love that spot!

Spent a Saturday night visiting lounges around City Centre. Finally got to Mandarin Bar…in one word “Wow!”. What a spot. We had a window table in the foyer part - it’s almost like being in another world up there. We also really enjoyed View Bar, great people watching spot. Cosmopolitan was an absolute gong show and not really our demographic (will have to go earlier in the day next time), but also some good people watching around Vesper.

We saw Weezer at Mandalay Bay and I really enjoyed the show. If a band you are remotely interested in is playing the beach at Mandalay Bay – go. What a great venue.

Went to Brad Garrett’s comedy club on a night he was performing. He was excellent, lots of interaction with the audience and (as he pointed out) it wasn’t “The Robert Show”. The comedians with him were good, but not great. Although I know comedy is hit and miss, for the prices they are charging I would expect a higher level. I’d go back again (maybe when Garrett wasn’t performing) to see what the next batch of performers were like.

Cypress beach club at Bellagio was a nice alternative to a cabana for a couple. $50 a chair for a controlled access pool and plenty of attention from the servers. My wife is the pool fanatic, but I really like this setup and would do it again.

Went to the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art for the Monet exhibit. I must say, for someone who doesn’t do a lot of art galleries, they did a great job with that exhibit and the audio tour. This was well worth the entry fee.

Gambling was good. Pretty much broke even over the week. Had some sweet VP sessions and my wife did well on the slots. Lots of fun at the craps tables, but one session at the Mirage we had a really cranky dealer who killed the vibe. I don’t mind coaching on my bets, but this guy would actually shake his head and roll his eyes if anyone didn’t take his advice. Needless to say, he cleared out that end of the table pretty quickly. Maybe he was having a bad day, but a really crappy display from front line staff. For craps players, there were $5 tables at Mirage in the early afternoons. I also like the when the $10 tables were filling up at Bellagio, they opened more $10 tables rather than just raising the minimum.

Finally, we had a great cabbie on our way out to the Airport. We were leaving from Terminal 2 on one of the last days it was operating. He had a ton of great classic Vegas stories about some of the people he’s seen coming and going from there since he arrived in Vegas in the late 60s. Just a great conversation with a local to end the trip and get us excited for our return in 2013!

Which by my count is only 49 weeks away!!

Thanks for reading…

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 LAvegasphile responded on Monday, 9th July 2012

Nice report! I was at the Weezer show that night too...And Mandarin Bar always delivers. Good to know about Hotel 32, I've been curious about that place.

 Heresiarch responded on Monday, 9th July 2012

Interesting to hear about Hotel32. Their ads mention a dedicated elevator, so that's weird.

What time did you check in to the Bell?

 AppleCruncher replied on Monday, 9th July 2012

By the time we got to the desk at Bellagio it was about 3:30, so pretty close to earliest check in time.

Yeah, I was expecting at least one elevator that only served the 32nd floor at MC. They had a Hotel32 sign in the elevator bank before the last two doors and those last two elevators were painted with the Hotel32 logo - I think that deterred some people from using the elevators if they weren't going to the 32nd floor. But pretty much every ride had on the elevators was a milk run. It was key access for the 32nd floor in all six elevators, but not dedicated.

The room was great - loved the layout, great modern features, it had one of those crazy 10 head showers, the furniture was comfortable. I just felt there's likely better overall value in staying in a little smaller room at a more upscale resort.

 Heresiarch replied on Monday, 9th July 2012

Yep, right there:
"designated Hotel32 elevator". All the words suggest a private, dedicated elevator without actually saying it. Oh well, I had been tempted to stay there, but seeing this review has helped me make that decision.

Prime used to be my favorite steakhouse, but they got rid of their mustards. That and the gratin were my reasons for going. It's place on my list has been usurped by SW Steakhouse and/or Stripsteak.

How does Stripburger compare to (eg) BLT at the Mirage?

Thanks for the trip report, good info!

 AppleCruncher responded on Monday, 30th July 2012

Credit where credit is due -- I sent an e-mail to Bellagio asking them why the room mix up took place. I received a response from a Slot host, who clearly researched my file and indicated it was their screw up for not pre-selecting the suite when I booked or when the Concierege was in my file for other reservations. She also said they should have offered me the Penthouse suite at the Cypress rate (damn!!).

In closing, they've offered to comp me three nights in the Cypress suite next time I'm in Las Vegas.

Extremely happy with that result -- more than I expected. I will be taking them up on this one!